Lawyers for Charter House, leading events management andproduction company, have called for circumspection in public comments on the law suit the company recently filed against dancehall musician, Shatta Wale.
Shatta Wale, brands ambassador for the ‘Guinness Made of Black’ campaign, would appear in court on Monday, October 20, to answer charges of defamation filed against him by Charter House, a suit which has sparked varied commentary in the media.
“Whilst the company does not aim at stifling freedom of expression, it is important to respectfully bring to the attention of all who wish to comment on matters relating to the pending suit that improper commentary on matters before the courts have the likelihood of poisoning the streams of justice and are punishable by contempt,” FAIBILLE & FAIBILLE, solicitors for Charter House, noted in a press statement issued on Tuesday.
It said Charter House appreciates its professional working relationship with the media and does not want to drag any media house or any of its staff to the courts in respect of any contemptible comments on their various platforms in respect of the pending suit.
“Accordingly, we request of media houses that whilst matters in respect of the suit may come up during phone-ins and other programmes, they have a duty to ensure that the matter is not prejudged in any manner conceivable as same will constitute a usurpation of the sole right of the High Court to determine the suit,” the statement added.
The two plaintiffs in the case are Charter House and its Chief Executive, Iyiola Ayoade. They are praying the Fast Track Division of the Accra High Court to declare that the musician defamed them in a series of videos he released online a few weeks ago.
They are therefore seeking “an unqualified apology and retraction of each of the four separate videos, with the approval by the plaintiffs prior to the recording and uploading” of the videos to his Facebook page and to remain on his page for one month within a week of the judgment.
Again, the plaintiffs want Shatta Wale to send the four videos in which he renders apologies to the plaintiffs to “all media houses and online publications that have aired the defamatory videos complained of and ensure that same and/or published at his own expense” within a week of the judgment.
Shatta Wale’s attacks on Charter House started about two years ago when he was nominated in one of the categories for the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) but lost the award to female dancehall act Kaakie.
Soon after the event ended, Shatta Wale got angry and was reported to have vandalised Charter House’s property at the venue. He followed with a song in which he insulted the company and even used some unprintable adjectives to describe the genitals of Kaakie, the artiste he lost the award to.
Shatta Wale later made a ‘u-turn’ when he publicly apologised to Charter House but soon after that, released another song to insult the company.
The musician is also on record to have described the Ghanaian media as “the most foolish” set of journalists he ever came across—an insulting statement that has been endorsed by his manager, Lawrence Nana Asiamah Hanson, aka Bull Dog.
Shatta Wale took to his official facebook page to write: “INFACT GHANA MEDIA IS THE MOST FOOLISH MEDIA I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE…ANY MEDIA THAT PUBLISH ANY FAKE NEWS ABOUT ME SHATTA WALE IS A PU**Y…!!! I HAVE SAID IT…PU**Y,” and surprisingly the first person to like the statement on Shatta Wale’s wall was Bull Dog.
The popular musician has gained notoriety for insulting persons and institutions whose opinion about him, he does not agree with. Though the attitude has been largely condemned by entertainment pundits and civil society, Shatta Wale’s handlers have not chided him, at least publicly, about his conduct.
Source: Halifax Ansah-Addo (Twitter: @HalifaxAnsahAdd).